Sunday, 9 May 2010

West Ham 1 - 1 City

  • On reflection it was unlikely to be a classic. With nothing to play for from either side it had a casual, end of term feel, devoid of pressure or meaning. And with both teams coming off seasons of some disappointment and discord it could never quite manage the last day of school, demob happy feel. The first half was good enough: two goals, quite a few chances and an open game. The second half was insipid: neither side eager to invest too much in the match. Short of Carlos Tévez's introduction there was nothing of note.
  • Before the game I worried this would be Craig Bellamy's last game in blue. With his not making the squad of eighteen today, I fear Wednesday's defeat to Spurs was our goodbye. Shaun Wright-Phillips came in on the left wing, which will have pleased the watching Franco Baldini. With Tévez benched Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz started together for the second time this season, the first since the 1-1 draw in Stoke in February. Their height encouraged us to play wide, as did West Ham's very narrow 4-5-1: all of our attacks came from the wings, West Ham's through the middle.
  • We started well enough - most attacks understandably coming through the Pablo Zabaleta/Adam Johnson combination down the right. This was how we scored: Johnson crossing for an uncharacteristic Shaun Wright-Phillips header. Johnson was our sparkiest attacking player, taking on defenders and almost winning us a penalty. This all came, though, after Zabaleta and Kolo Touré switched off to let Luis Boa Morte through follow Alessandro Diamanti's backheel. Once or twice Carlton Cole looked like turning Touré but we were probably marginally the better side.
  • The second half was much less good. West Ham took the game to us, and created the better chances. We were happy to keep the ball, release Johnson up against Daprela and hope for the best. Things mildly improved when Carlos Tévez came on, lifting the whole ground and adding some much needed mobility and purpose to our front line. It wasn't enough, and the game drifted comfortably off to a draw. A dull afternoon, but another exciting summer awaits.


craig said...

do us a favour- write an article rubbing their noses in it for losing the title will you? Not only did one of their blogs invite you for Q&A, he then had a snide little dig at you when you couldn't answer back. Same blogger (and others of a red persuasion) were creaming themselves at our defeat to Spurs. Their smugness at our loss and lack of sportmanship at losing the title is typically arrogant.

Anonymous said...

Jack takes the morale high ground. One of the things I like about this blog is all articles are fair and carefully considered.

Bellamy not on bench. I feel gutted he seems to have betrayed us with Spurs. Also Tevez seems to have a stronger affection for West Ham. It would be nice if our most important players could develop their love for City. Wright Philips, Onuoha and De Jong seem to have the most passion for us.